Thursday 2 April
Jesus called them together and said, ‘You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.
Our office is in central London, very close to the BBC headquarters at Broadcasting House. Sit in the local coffee shops or look around in the restaurants, and you will notice well-known newsreaders and TV personalities around you.
We get excited by VIPs. Fans queue up outside the BBC radio studios to get a selfie or an autograph with their idols. We make them feel special, and we feel special when we've been close to them. Or, even better, we dream of becoming famous and influential ourselves.
But in the verses we're reflecting on today from Mark 10, Jesus explains that his idea of a VIP is very different to ours. The people Jesus considers worthy of honour, however, are those we would normally overlook. He says that true greatness comes not from being served or celebrated, but by serving others.
If we have power or influence, we will face the temptation to use it to leverage an advantage over other people. Jesus says that is how most people live, but it should not be so with his followers. They should live in humility, seeking to serve others before themselves.
Jesus wants his followers to live servant-hearted lives because he is a servant-hearted leader. Jesus' life and ministry was characterised by stooping in humility. First he stooped down from heaven to become a human being; then he served those around him by reaching out to the outcasts and the needy; and ultimately he served sinful people by giving himself up to death on the cross in our place. That is the pattern of Christ and his kingdom: to make yourself less, and to be lifted up to glory.
Heavenly Father, thank you that Jesus came as a servant. I am sorry for celebrating celebrities and seeking to use my power for my own advantage. Please help me to live and serve others as Jesus did, in humility. Amen
Written by Alastair Gledhill, Resource Development and Online Engagement Consultant
Ali has previous experience working in digital communications, before more recently serving on the ministry team at All Souls Church. He has joined the team at CEM to help update resources and build engagement. He lives in central London.
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